US and allies accuse China of hacking campaign

The World
A computer monitor is shown in the nearground with a row of tablet computers in the distance under a Microsoft banner.

A Microsoft computer is among items displayed at a Microsoft store in suburban Boston.

Steven Senne/AP/File photo

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The United States on Monday accused China of a global hacking campaign that included a massive hack of the Microsoft Exchange email server software earlier this year. The Biden administration, along with NATO, the European Union, Britain, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Canada, blamed China's Ministry of State Security for using criminal contract hackers, orchestrating ransomware attacks and other cyber threats on Beijing’s behalf. Despite the accusation, the announcement does not include concrete punitive steps against the Chinese government, such as sanctions or other measures levied against Russia over the SolarWinds hack.

More than 100,000 people took to the streets across France over the weekend to protest the government’s new COVID-19 vaccination strategy, which will restrict access to cafés, movie theaters and long-distance trains, among other locations for the unvaccinated. President Emmanuel Macron’s tough strategy is part of an effort to push people to get vaccinated amid rising infections from the delta variant. The protesters included a range of far-right and the far-left groups. Some demonstrators wore yellow stars and compared Macron’s policy to the Nazi persecution of Jews during World War II, leading to widespread outrage.

The United Kingdom on Monday lifted nearly all coronavirus restrictions, in what has been dubbed “Freedom Day,” despite the country facing a growing number of infections. After more than a year of lockdowns, mask mandates, work-from-home guidance and social distancing rules, all restrictions ended along with other limits. With the lifting of restrictions, Chris Whitty, the UK's chief medical officer, warned a COVID-19 surge could get Britain into "trouble surprisingly fast."

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